The man dubbed the “Rock n’ Roll’ chef by Rolling Stone magazine has died at the age of 60. Kerry Simon’s passing was confirmed by multiple sources on Twitter where he’s being mourned. Simon died at the Nathan Adelson Hospice where he was battling a brain disease.
This is a breaking story so stay tuned for updates.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. He Suffered from Multiple System Atrophy, a Rare Form of Parkinson’s Disease
In 2013, he was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy. The Las Vegas Eater reports that his illness contributed to his death. MSA is rare form of Parkinson’s disease. He had been so ill in the lead-up to his death that Simon had been confined to a wheelchair. The Las Vegas Sun reports that just this week, Simon’s friends had gathered for a dinner in his honor at Elizabeth Blau’s Made LV in Tivoli Village. Sadly, Simon had become too ill to attend.
2. He Was the First Celebrity Chef in Las Vegas
He was the chef and owner of “Simon” in Palms Place, Las Vegas, which he opened in 2002, as well as “Simon LA” in Los Angeles and “Simon Prime” in Atlantic City. KTNV in their reports that Simon was one of the first celebrity chefs to open a restaurant in Las Vegas.
3. He Put Himself Through Culinary School by Working at a Little Caesar’s Pizza Place
Simon was a native of Evanston, Illinois. Initially, he planned to become a musician but eventually his love of cooking took off. He was a student at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, according to his biography. That profile adds that he helped to pay for his education by working at a Little Caesar’s pizza place.
4. He Won ‘Iron Chef’ By Building the Perfect Hamburger
He was known for his media appearances as much for his own restaurants, including on Iron Chef America and Hell’s Kitchen. To win in his appearance on Iron Chef, Simon won by beating Chef Cat Cora when he created the perfect hamburger. You can watch the episode above.
5. Out of College, Simon Was Hired at the Plaza Hotel by Ivana Trump
According to his official profile, Simon got his break when Ivana Trump hired him to work at the Plaza Hotel’s Edwardian room. That bio adds that when Trump left the Plaza, so did he, moving to South Florida in 1992. In between, he studied culinary arts in Europe, Russia and the Far East.